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Chemical Mfrs. Ass'n v. EPA

Citation: 12 ELR 20396
No. Nos. 79-2299 et al., 673 F.2d 507/17 ERC 1057/(D.C. Cir., 03/16/1982)

The court upholds the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) inclusion of mining waste in the category of solid waste in regulations promulgated pursuant to §§ 1008(a)(3) and 4004(a) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The court first holds that EPA acted reasonably in including mining waste in its definition of solid waste. Section 1004(27) of RCRA defines "solid waste" to include wastes from mining operations while the legislative history is at best ambiguous and thus does not provide the compelling evidence needed to override the Agency's interpretation of its statutory directive. The court next holds that EPA's regulation of mining waste under RCRA is not barred by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA). The provisions of the two statutes are not in conflict and SMCRA's general admonition to federal agencies to cooperate with the Secretary of the Interior in carrying out the surface mining statute cannot be deemed to create an exception to RCRA's provisions. The court also holds that EPA acted reasonably in promulgating the challenged regulations before completing a study of mining waste problems mandated by § 8002(f) of RCRA.

Counsel for Petitioners
John D. Austin Jr., Ass't Chief Counsel
American Mining Congress
1920 N St. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 861-2800

Frank H. Morrison, John D. Fognani, Elizabeth Sharrer, R. Brooke Jackson, James R. Walpole
Holland & Hart
555 17th St. NW, Suite 2900, Denver CO 80202
(703) 575-8000

Alan B. Mollohan, J. Roy Spradley, Lawrence A. Demase, Edward S. Shipper Jr.
Rose, Schmidt, Dixon & Hasley
1575 I St. NW, Washington DC 20005
(202) 289-8300

R. Stuart Broom
Dawson, Riddell, Fox, Holroyd & Wilson
Suite 723, Washington Bldg., Washington DC 20005
(202) 626-4800

Counsel for Respondent
Lee R. Tyner, Anthony Z. Roisman
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-5476

Mark A. Greenwood, Charles G. Field
Office of the General Counsel
Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC 20460
(202) 382-4134

Before: ROBINSON, Chief Judge, WILKEY and EDWARDS, Circuit Judges.